Brian Wilson (album)

Brian Wilson is the eponymous first solo album by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.

Wilson was signed to a solo recording contract with Sire Records in early 1987. The initial single released that April, "Let's Go To Heaven In My Car" (Brian Wilson/Gary Usher) b/w "Too Much Sugar", was not commercially successful, but Wilson proceeded to record a full album of new material.

The recording sessions, supervised by veteran producers like Russ Titelman and Lenny Waronker, were said to be contentious. Wilson's collaborators reportedly clashed with his controversial therapist, Dr. Eugene Landy.

After several months, Brian Wilson was complete and ready for release. "Love And Mercy" was its lead single, but despite its commercial quality and contemporary sound, it didn't become a hit.

Brian Wilson was released in July 1988 to favorable reviews but reached only #54 on American charts. Two singles from the album, "Love And Mercy" and "Melt Away," sold poorly. A third, "Night Time," was released for promotional use only. In hindsight, while The Beach Boys' #1 smash, "Kokomo", stole some of Wilson's thunder, he was likely more hurt by his publicly controversial relationship with Landy. Initially, Landy and his girlfriend, Alexandra Morgan, even had their names included on some of the songs on Brian Wilson, but once he was successfully removed from Wilson's life in 1991, the credits were later revised to reflect their lack of involvement in Wilson's songs.

In 2000, the album was reissued on Rhino Records with an extensive selection of bonus tracks.

Promotional Materials

No promotional or music videos were produced for "Brian Wilson". However, Sire Records did release a promotional disc with an interview of Brian Wilson intertwined with various tracks from the album. In his autobiography, Brian Wilson indicated that not releasing a music video to coincide with the release of the album was a mistake.

Track listing

  1. "Love And Mercy" (Brian Wilson*) – 2:56
  2. "Walkin' The Line" (Brian Wilson, Nick Laird-Clowes) * – 2:38
  3. "Melt Away" (Brian Wilson) * – 3:01
  4. "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long" (Brian Wilson) – 3:18
  5. "Little Children" (Brian Wilson) – 1:49
  6. "One For The Boys" (Brian Wilson) – 1:50
  7. "There's So Many" (Brian Wilson) * – 2:47
  8. "Night Time" (Brian Wilson, Andy Paley) * – 3:39
  9. "Let It Shine" (Brian Wilson, Jeff Lynne) – 3:58
  10. "Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight" (Brian Wilson, Andy Paley, Andy Dean) – 3:07
  11. "Rio Grande" (Brian Wilson, Andy Paley) – 8:12
  12. * On the original release, Landy was given a cowriter's credit on these songs, and his reported girlfriend, Alexandra Morgan, was also co-credited on three of the songs. Those credits were removed on the 2000 rerelease, and are often regarded as spurious.


  • "Love And Mercy" b/w "He Couldn’t Get His Poor Old Body To Move" (Brian Wilson, Lindsey Buckingham) (Sire 27814), 1 July 1988
  • "Night Time" (Edit) b/w "Night Time" (LP Version) (Sire 7-27787-DJ) 1988
  • "Melt Away" b/w "Being With The One You Love" (Sire 27694), 19 January 1989


  • Brian Wilson - vocals, piano, organ, chimes, glockenspiel, bells, vibraphone, sound effects
  • Jeff Lynne - bass, guitar, keyboards
  • Rob Mounsey - guitar, piano, emulator, synth guitar
  • Elliot Easton - guitar
  • Michael Andreas - flute, saxophone
  • Michael Bernard - drums, synthesizer programming
  • Stewart Blumberg - trumpet
  • Jeff Bova - keyboards, programming
  • Jimmy Bralower - drum programming
  • Lance Buller - trumpet
  • Terence Trent D'Arby - background vocals
  • Christopher Cross - background vocals
  • Andy Dean - percussion, programming, bells, vibraphone
  • Tris Imboden - drums
  • Hyman Katz - flute, piccolo
  • Robbie Kilgore - keyboard programming
  • Larry Williams - saxophone
  • Harry Kim - trumpet
  • Steve Lindsey - keyboards, synthesizer programming
  • Jay Migliori - baritone saxophone
  • Andy Paley - guitar, bass, harmonica, percussion, background vocals
  • Dean Parks - guitar
  • Bob Riley - drum machine
  • Philippe Saisse - synthesizer programming
  • Carol Steele - percussion
  • Todd Herreman - Fairlight synthesizer
  • Frank Morrocco - accordion
  • Baystate Bluegrass Band - acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolin
  • Robbie Condor - synthesizer programming
  • Eugene E. Landy - background vocals
  • Tony Salvage - violin, saw


  • Brian Wilson CD booklet notes, David Leaf, c.2000
  • "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience", Timothy White, c. 1994.


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